tv [untitled] February 26, 2012 10:00pm-10:30pm EST
and above all made freedom the birthright of every man that quality must still live within us. for without it, we are surely lost. and it will live, so long as we keep faith in our future and faith in our past. this is the challenge as compelling, as severe, as crucial as americans in any age have ever faced. ♪ glory, glory, hallelujah ♪ glory, glory, hallelujah ♪ glory, glory, hallelujah ♪ his truth is marching on,
amen ♪ ♪ you're watching american history tv all weekend, every weekend on c-span 3. for more information, follow us on twitter @cspanhistory. each week american history tv's american artifacts takes viewers behind the scenes at archives, museums and historic sites. in 1215, a group of noblemen confronted the king of england, demanding that their rights be
recognized, written down and confirmed by royal seal. king john agreed, binding himself and his heirs to the magnacarta, or the great charter, granting fundamental legal rights to the noblemen including trial by jury, hab yus corpus and no taxation without representation. the 1297 version is still a law on the books in england and wales. that version was the first to apply these rights to all english freemen. the founding fathers sought these same political rights leading up to the american revolution. in 2007, co-founder of the carlisle group and philanthropist david rubenstein purchased for $21 million one of only four known original 1297 magna cartas and the only original copy in the united states. in 2009 mr. rubenstein permanently loaned the document to the national archives as a gift to the american people. it was taken off display in 2011
to upside go conservation treatment and to be placed in a new protective case. american history tv attended a press briefing for the unveiling of the newly encased magna carta. >> i'm david barry of the archivist of the united states and it's nice to welcome you to one of the archivists. for many a year, the only copy of the magna carta has been out of sight, undergoing conservation treatment. we're showing you the result of our staff's expert, painstaking work displayed in a new encasement designed and fabricated by the national institute's standards and technology. the 700-year-old document looks better than ever. when the magna carta is back on public display beginning on february 17th, interactive displays will enhance the
educational value of viewing the record. visitors will be able to read an annotated translation of the latin document and learn how the magna carta influenced america's founding charters. the declaration of independence, the constitution and the bill of rights. the connection between magna carta and the effects of secure liberty and law over the centuries have inspired a new gallery which will be the future home of magna carta. this new permanent exhibit will allow visitors to examine important records of our evolving ideas about who has rights and to see the links between those ideas and the forces that shape our lives today. the new gallery will be named in honor of david m. rubinstein to whom we're indebted three times over. first for his decision to acquire magna carta and make it accessible to the american people here at the national archives. second, for his tangible contributions to make this new
december play possible and to develop our new orientation and exhibit spaces. and, third, and most heartfelt, for his personal commitment to the preservation, access and understanding of our documentary heritage. this past november it was my honor to present david's with the foundation's records of achievement award, acknowledging not only the aid he's rendered this organization, but his many contributions to the storehouses of our cultural history. david's enthusiasm for using great historic records as tools for enhancing civic understanding is self-evident. and we have with us today alelia bundles, right here in front of us, who is the new head of the foundation for the national archives. welcome, amelia. now david. >> david, thank you very much. david ferriero has done an
outstanding job as archivist of the united states, and i want to thank you for the job you're doing in helping to preserve this most important document in our country. when i first heard of the magna carta being for sale, i was surprised it was for sale and i was surprised it was probably in private hands. i was afraid it would probably leave the country, and although it wasn't drafted in this country or written here or an important document for hundreds of years because it was really drafted before our country came into existence, i thought it was important it be kept in the united states because it was, as david said, the inspiration for the declaration of independence, bill of rights, constitution and so many other important principles our country is founded on. so i was fortunate enough to be able to get it and to put it on permanent loan here. and i am very pleased that people from all over the world now have a chance to see it. it's encased in an encasement and hopefully will last at least another 800 years or so. we will be celebrating in three years the 800th anniversary of the original magna carta in 1215
and there will be a lot of ceremonies in the united states and in england for that, and the archives will no doubt be involved in that as well. so it's my privilege as an american to be able to give this back to the archives and let them preserve it for -- as they have done and to let them display it as they are going to do, and i am very honored that they're willing to do so and they've done so with an extraordinary attention to detail and extraordinary love of this document. so i'm very pleased and honored to be here today wp i want to thank david and all of your colleagues for doing such a wonderful job in making sure people know the magna carta is here and making sure it will be available for everyone to see. thank you. >> should we do the unveiling now? ready? >> this is the hard part. >> very gently.
>> i think a nuclear bomb would not be able to destroy this. >> please, please, please. so it's now my pleasure to introduce kitty nicholson, the deputy director of the document conservation center. she was the project manager of the manga cata preservation and she'll tell us a little bit about the process. thank you, kitty. >> thank you very much. the document conservation lab of the national archives was really honored and pleased to be asked to be involved in ensuring the long-term preservation of the 1297 rubinstein magna carta. in taking on this project, we were building on the expertise that we acquired in the recent treatment and encasement of the charters of freedom. and being able to apply it to the preservation of another great charter from an earlier era in english history.
the project had separate lines of work that came together flawlessly. one was the conservation examination and treatment of this great document. another was the design and fabrication of this really remarkable state of the art encasement that would be filled with inert gas. and the third was the design and fabrication of the exhibit case to hold all of this and protect it. as i said, those strands have all come together just in the last week or so and we're very, very happy and excited. the conservation goals for this project were to remove old repairs and old adhesive that were detracting from the document. this is a document on parchment, and just paraphernalia thetically, parchment is especially prepared and stretched animal skin. this is not paper, and it's from an era when parchment was a preferred support for very important documents, public laws and things of that nature. so it's totally understandable
that it's on parchment and that's part of why it's come down to us in such incredible condition. in our conservation work, two of our senior archives conservators carried out a very careful examination of the parchment, the ink with which the text was written, the pendant wax seal at the bottom. and also look closely at the old repairs that were present and the old adhesive. based on that examination they wrote a treatment proposal and they also arranged for very detailed photography of the front and reverse of the document. at at&t we also carried out special photography using infrared and ultraviolet which can sometimes magically, seemingly magically reveal things the naked eye can't see. in this case the document, when you get to see it closer, there are some areas where some liquid dripped on it and you can't see the text there. what we found was that the ultraviolet photography revealed
and captured that ink text that is now lost to the naked eye. so we're very excited and pleased to be able to do that. the treatment itself began with a very careful removal of the old repairs and the old adhesive, which were causing contraction of the parchment. after those were removed, they repaired the small holes and tears that existed using a long fibered hand-made paper adhered with wheat starch paste and gelatin. and the fills that were made in areas where there was loss of the parchment were toned to match the surrounding parchment. when you look at it with the naked eye, actually, it's a remarkable job and i have really great pride in my colleagues who did this work. sometimes colors don't read the same on the web. i think you'll see on the web, you can see where the fills were made, but they're much less
obtrusive. after all that work had been done, the parchment was carefully humidified indirectly to relax it and it was dried between felts for many months. because once it's sealed in this encasement, we want it to rest in a relaxed format and not contrast or do anything to change. parchment's very responsive to humidity and we wanted it to be perfectly stable. all the materials that were used in this concentration treatment are stable and long lasting material. we have every reason to believe that 800 years from now they will still be in fabulous shape just like the document itself. and it's incredible clear ink, which if we could read medieval latin would be perfectly legible. national archives conservatives wrote the requirements for this wonderful encasement as part of a memorandum of agreement with the national institutes of standards and technology who became our partner in the
discussing the design and the details of the design of this encasement so it would both protect the document and look really fabulous on exhibit. as it should. for more than a year, archives conservators, sciencetists and exhibit staff met with nist engineers and we talked through every possible detail to make sure it was just right. that led to the te sign of the encasement you see here today. and i'm pleased now to introduce to you design engineer jay brandonberg. jay works for the national institute of standards and technology and he'll tell you about the nist side of this project. >> probably the biggest question i always get asked, how did nist get involved with such a project. we've had a tradition of working with some of the most important documents inside the beltway. basically preserving them for both the national archives and the library of congress.
this encasement itself had some unique challenges. as you can see, the document comes out at you, so it's almost a three-dimensional image coming at you. that floating document created a lot of design and manufacturing problems to us that we were able to overcome. the design of the encasement, i don't know if it'll withstand a nuclear blast, but there are a lot of inherent things not haven any encasement found around. we've made this to be able to take a lot of the expected environmental issues that could occur, even something as simple as changes in barometric pressure can have a large impact when you're trying to seal something and prevent oxygen deg regags through the seals. another issue that we had was -- you'll see this when this is on
display -- is with the lighting to make an absorbing background so you can't see something. typically when we're sheening purr f surfaces, we try to make them as polished, as reflective as possible and typical. in this we had to change our way of thinking, basically, to make it somewhat rustic and make it so that it did not reflect any light. the design process itself, we started in the middle at the document. and our primary focus was on proserving the document and providing the best things for the document. there's basically three large components. i should say four large components in this encasement and hundreds of little ones that you don't see. there's a frame on the outside. this started out as a three-inch, 300-pound block of aircraft aluminum that was machine down. the bottom of which you see the chamber, the back side of the
chamber, was created out of an 800-pound block of aluminum all reduced down, which in itself when you remove that much material creates a lot of stresses and makes the machine process very iterative to get to it and maintain a very good sealing surface. the platform with the custom sealing that we mentioned, another difficulty was matching the seal on it and be able to suspend the seal so there's no pressure, as kitty had mentioned. that was something until we could physically have it set in there, we had to do some modifications. and with all of our technology and all, it came down to a lot of hand grinding and hand polishing when it got to those specific details. the fourth component is the glass itself. because of the lighting and the ability to display this, there's
a lot of concern that goes into the design of the glass material used to give the outer face that the public will see. i'd like to thank some of our partners, solutia, and some local -- some local companies. alexander metal finishing and american stripping company for their participation in this process and we went from what we did in-house to get some of the finishes that you see on the final project. i think that's all. >> thank you. are there any questions? yes? >> for mr. rubenstein, we were here when you first delivered the magna carta. and you talked about your time on capitol hill as part of your basis for your interest in this. would you tell us that story again, please? >> i worked on capitol hill when i was very young. i was 25 years old. i was the chief council for the senate subcommittee on constitutional amendments.
in that capacity i spent a fair amount of time thinking about and working on the constitution. and some of the documents that led to it. so that was perhaps one of the inspirations for me being interested in these kind of things. in recent years i've bought some other documents that were early american historical documents i think are very important to the history of the country. but many of these documents all really are based on the magna carta and the principles in the magna carta. so i'm very pleased i was fortunate enough to be able to do this for the american people and i hope many people come to watch it. and look at it and learn about it. >> for people who are unfamiliar with the magna carta, could somebody please give us a magna carta 101. >> actually, you -- i'm sorry? >> i could do it. on june 15th in 1215, noblemen
came together with king john and they insisted on certain principles so that they would not feel that they were being taxed without representation, in effect. king john agreed to, with a seal, the principles that the noblemen had asked him to agree to. they included things like the rights of habeas corpus. punishment should be -- unfortunately wub within of the principles according to king john's view of it would result in his being excommunicated. because the king of england then was really subordinate to the pope. the pope said this isn't a very good principle. because the principle said 25 noblemen could come together and overrule what the king wanted. and if that were the case, maybe sometime somebody could overrule what the pope wanted. the pope said, i don't like that. the king said, i don't want to
be excommunicated. so several weeks after he actually attached his seal to it, he abrogated it. that resulted in a war. he died in the war. his 9-year-old son became the next king. the regents came up with a new version of this one. that kept the peace for a while. when that king, king henry died, his son, king edward game the king. he in a similar situation, his grandfather needed some money to fight wars in france. he sought from noblemen some more money. they asked him to agree to a new magna carta. he actually did so in 1297. this comes from 1297. this advantage of this one over the 1215 one, though more famous, this became the law of the land of england and is still the law of the land of england. this actually became something that really set the trend for common law in england whereas the 1215 version was abrogated. while the 1215 has many things in it as this version, this 1297
is still the law of the land and that's why it's so important. is that --? >> very good. what of the magna carta is in our founding documents? >> in our bill of rights we have in effect -- well, the whole government is based on no taxation without representation. representative government. we have the right to habeas corpus. we have punishment proportionate to the crime. trial by jury. things like that are the inspiration for our bill of rights. if you read materially writings of hamilton and jefferson and adams and madison, many times they say, it's because of the magna carta that we're doing this. remember, these people who were breaking away from england, they viewed themselves as englishmen. they said, we don't want to break away from england. we are englishmen and we are entitled to the same rights as
all englishmen and those include the same rights as the magna carta. king george said you're not entitled to the carta rights. you're different. it was really the magna carta principles that made people believe they deserved certain rights. >> you came from baltimore. did you ever come here for field trips? >> i did. >> do you wonder if kids are going to see this and get an impression from it? >> i was brought here like i think everybody in the eighth grade of the united states is brought here in march or april of their eighth grade year. i was brought here. i did come to see the archives and other buildings in washington. and i don't know if in the recesses of my mind that was part of what was involved. but i'm very happy to be able to come back here now. but, yes, i did come here as a
young boy. m rubenstein, you've -- backstop for when things go wrong and need a little bit of cash? >> there are many people who have more resources than i do. i'm sure the federal government has a lot more than i have to give. but when i can find something i'm interested in and i think i can be helpful to, i'm happy to do so. one of the things i'm most proud of that i've done at the archives. under david feriero's leadership, the archives have moved forward a lot more than before to make sure that the archives is most pleased that i'm involved with. >> what happens after that? did you bequeath it to the
archives? what will be done with it? >> everybody in life has certain things they like. i guess one of the things i like is buying these documents and owning them. as an owner of them, i'm responsible for the insurance on them. i'm responsible for the expense of the encasement and so forth. but you can't be buried with these documents as far as i snow. so you can assume the appropriate place will see these documents when i'm not on this earth. >> are there any other questions? if not, if you all would like to come up and take photographs. remember, i'm sure you've been told before, no flash, please. then we'll take you up for a tour in the rotunda. and you can actually learn more about the document up there. >> my name is marvin pinkhart and i'm director of the national archive experience, the name we
give to the museum here. the encasement you saw downstairs actually will slide into the case on my right. and that will be the home for the magna carta. this is where it was prior to the reencasement project. but what's really different is that we've created these interactive units that allow visitors for the first time not only to take a close look at magna carta, but also to be able to read it since not many of our visitors speak medieval latin. let me show you a little bit of what's on the unit. it is the tree of liberty running from the roots of magna carta through the document itself. and this allows you to take a closer look at the document, see its detail, see things like the lost text. there's a section of magna carta which appears to the naked eye to be white.
but when we put it under ultraviolet light, we were able to reveal that the text is still there in the document. as i mentioned, for the first time, you can read the document in english. in its entirety. you can also look at some highlights in the document. for example, the issue of rule of law. and here in the language of the document itself, in translation, no freeman is to be taken and imprisoned or deceased of his free tenement, of his liberties, without lawful judgment of his peers. all the provisions of magna carta applied to noblemen and people with property, whereas the bill of rights was a document intended to cover a much larger swath of the population. we showed some examples of the influence of magna carta on
american life, the way it was used as an emblem of the rights of englishmen in our early history. here we have a patriot engraved by paul revere holding magna carta. another example is john dickinson's "the patriotic american farmer" and his elbow stin our history, what you're looking at is franklin roosevelt's third inaugural address. and the detail here says the democratic aspiration is no hu history. it blazed anew in the middle ages. it was written in the magna carta. so as late as the onset of world war ii, fdr is still referring back to the legacy of magna
carta. so we interactive device is going to give a lot more strength to the display of magna carta, allow our visitors to have a deeper understanding not of just why the document is important, but how it connects to our charters of freedom. you can watch american artifacts and other american history tv programs any time by visits our website. cspan.org/history. you're watching american history tv, all weekend, every weekend, on c-span 3. for more information, follow us on twitter@cspanhistory.
louisiana governor bobbie jindal is scheduled to reveal his proposal for balancing the budget for fiscal 2013 today. a budget $900 million in the red. it's mostly cloudy and 7 degrees at the airport. you're listening to shreveport news and weather station. news radio. next weekend, book tv and american history tv explore the history and literary culture of shreveport, louisiana. saturday starting at noon eastern on book tv on c-span 2, author gary joyner. "one damn blunder from beginning to end." and then a look at the over 200,000 books of a john smith nobel collection at the lsu shreveport archives. tour of shreveport with neil johnson. and on american history tv on c-span 3, sunday at 5:00 p.m. eastern, from barksdale air force base, a look at the